TO CHEW ON: "My cup runs over." Psalm 23:5
An overflowing cup—what a delightful image. Of course we know that "cup" here doesn't refer to a literal cup filled to overflowing with liquid. Rather, it's a metaphor for one's life or life situation, or a circumstance and the fact that it runs over is a picture of the superabundance of God's provision.
Other places in the Bible also speak of God giving superabundantly:
- Moses, describing in a prophetic way how God has and will deal with His chosen people, draws word pictures that help us see this: "He made him ride in the height of the earth … He made him draw honey from the rock, and oil from the flinty rock" - Deuteronomy 32:13.
- After enduring a God-permitted test, Job's fortunes were restored double - Job 42:10.
- The result of repentance, Joel prophesies, will be overflowing harvest - Joel 2:24.
- Returning to God what is rightfully His (the tithe) opens the "windows of heaven" to "pour out for you such a blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it" - Malachi 3:10.
- Jesus' feeding the crowd that followed Him to a deserted place to be with Him and hear Him speak resulted in twelve baskets of leftovers - Matthew 14:20.
- Jesus said our generosity will come back to us many times over: "…good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the measure that you use it will be measured back to you" - Luke 6:38.
Several responses come to mind as I ponder these stories and promises of superabundance:
1. When I look at my own life, I see that God has already overflowed it with good things. I need to be more grateful.
2. When I'm in a trial, I can be reassured that it is only for a time. Even it that time lasts till the end of mine on earth, I have an overflowing cup to look forward to in heaven. I need to hang onto hope.
3. Maybe my sense of need tells me I'm not in the right place. When my foolish, wandering sheep personality has taken me away from the fold and the shepherd, I need to repent and return.
4. If I've been hanging onto my possessions, time, even affections with a sense that there won't be enough left if I give too much away, I need to trust God and then let go and be generous, first with God, then with others.
PRAYER: Dear God, I love the picture of a life overflowing with Your blessings. Please help me learn to live in such a generous way that blessing is the obvious consequence. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.